Working out five or six days a week is a great way to lose weight, slow the aging process, and lower your chances of developing illnesses such as heart disease and cancer, but if you really want to optimize your exercise routine, then you have to eat right. Getting enough nutrition for performance is essential when following a regular exercise program. You need protein to rebuild, carbohydrates and healthy fats for energy, and plenty of vitamins and minerals to thrive. When trying to get the right nutrition for performance training, where should you start? What should you be eating on a daily basis to make sure that your body is getting enough nutrition?
The Bread Fundamentals
Start with the basics, with bread and grains. Carbohydrates are of course are important for anyone who is living an active lifestyle. They are quickly broken down into energy, providing the necessary fuel for the body. What type of carbohydrates you are consuming does matter. Go for complex carbohydrates, which are found in whole grain foods, and avoid simple carbohydrates found in refined flour products. This means choosing whole grain bread instead of white bread, brown rice instead of white rice, and oatmeal instead of boxed cereal. By making these healthy food choices you are consuming more complex carbohydrates, which are broken down more slowly by the body, providing more sustainable energy. Whole grains are also high in fiber and nutrients, including B vitamins, magnesium, calcium, and iron.
The Good Proteins and Good Fats
Healthy, quality protein is important when going for optimal nutrition for performance. What food supply quality protein? Lean meats, fish, tofu, and even legumes are all excellent options. Try eating more turkey and chicken breast, salmon and tuna, tofu and bean dishes. Rich in iron, B vitamins, and zinc, eggs are also a great protein source. Eat beef once or twice a week, but instead of that greasy hamburger, try a lean cut such as a top sirloin. These foods are high in protein, vitamins, and minerals, but they do not come with excess fat. Processed lunch meats, bacon, hot dogs, and fried chicken are all protein sources that you want to avoid when trying to optimize your diet.
What about fat, what are the best fat sources for excellent nourishment? The good fats are the unsaturated fatty acids. Foods such as nuts, seeds, olive oil, and avocado all supply these healthy fatty acids which will provide energy, protect cell membranes, and help to keep the immune system strong. Try snacking on nuts and seeds and adding sliced avocado to scrambled eggs or a green salad. Cook with olive oil instead of butter.
Fruits and Vegetables
Quality carbohydrates, proteins, and fats are the meat and potatoes of great nutrition for performance training. Fruits and vegetables are the accents that will supply the much needed vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that you need to support an active lifestyle. There are two key points when it comes to fruits and veggies — eat a lot and eat a variety. Aim for a green salad every day. Snack on fresh fruit throughout the day. Have a serving of steamed vegetable with dinner and fresh fruit for dessert.
Sustain your body with a healthy diet, nutrition for Performance and your workouts will be much more effective. Exercise is one part of a healthy lifestyle; a nutritious diet is the other.